The Woman on the Bus

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The beginning of the summer of my eighteenth year was, like the rest of my life before it, inauspicious. I had just finished high school where I had enjoyed a successful year, at least academically. But, lacking athletic skills or particularly good looks, my social life, particularly as it related to girls, was disappointing. College loomed before me in the fall and I hoped to reinvent myself there as a suave and sophisticated man-about-town. How this miraculous transformation would occur was a complete mystery, but I had three months ahead of me to figure it out.

The immediate future seemed like more of the same. I was scheduled to attend a summer camp for gifted science students. The days would be spent taking courses in math and science classes interspersed with swimming in a lake and opportunities to play soccer and baseball and all of the other outdoor pursuits that I and the other campers had avoided during our years growing up.

Nothing in my plans for the coming months that June in 1975 seemed to be calculated to bring about any cataclysmic changes in my life and personality. And yet, that summer was to be one of the most dramatic and transformative of my life. By the end of that summer, the quiet boy who had never even kissed a girl would have become sexually involved with a young married woman and another man. And he (I) would never be the same.

It all started, as so many momentous occasions often do, on a day that was startlingly routine. Prior to leaving for camp, I spent my days at the public library, poring over ponderous works of fiction and non-fiction and sometimes taking time to look through photography books in the hopes of finding nude photographs, always artistically shot but exciting nonetheless.

As always, I left with a stack of books which I would continue reading at home, well into the night. I got onto the bus that would take me on my long journey home and immediately became engrossed in reading “The Double Helix”, the, to me, fascinating book about the discovery of the structure of DNA. I was distracted from my reading when a young woman boarded the bus, weighed down by the number of brown grocery bags she was carrying. She was a slight, light-skinned black woman. At first impression, she seemed rather plain, but on closer inspection, it was clear she had potential. She looked like the before picture in a makeover pictorial and it was clear that with some makeover, more flattering clothes and a good nights sleep, she would be at least extremely cute or, perhaps, even beautiful. The clothes she wore could hardly have been less flattering. Her gray dress, loose fitting and threadbare, seemed to be the type of garment worn by someone who was trying to hide some flaw in her figure. And indeed, the way that she stood suggested that she was embarrassed by her small breasts and her generous behind which stood out only because the rest of her frame was so small. But even if she felt that her body was imperfect, I was intrigued, so intrigued that I failed to immediately notice her discomfort at having to stand in the moving bus with all of her packages.

Eventually embarrassed at my staring and insensitivity, I eventually stood and offered her my seat, which she gratefully accepted, settling down into the seat with a thud. Her smile at my courtesy, the first of the many smiles that would eventually give her full possession of my heart, seemed out-of-proportion to the common courtesy I had shown. Based upon her reaction, you would have thought that I had saved her from drowning rather than merely offering her a seat, but I was still pleased that the act seemed to have put me in her good graces.

As I stood over her, I pretended to return to my book, pausing now and then to pretend to look out of the bus window to see where we were while actually taking every opportunity I could to glance at her. To my surprise, on more than one occasion, I caught her looking at me with some curiosity and fascination, as if the book I was reading were somehow extraordinary.

Her look of curiosity began to change to one of apprehension as she looked out the window. It occurred to me as she stood up that she was probably beginning to regret the number of grocery items she had bought and was dreading the walk home.

“Can I help you get your bags home”, I startled myself by asking.

“Thank you so much, but I wouldn’t want to put you out. I’ll be okay.”

“It’s no problem, I live really close,” I lied.

Looking enormously relieved, she said “Okay and, by the way, my name’s Janine.” Handing her my books, I chivalrously took all of her bags and we headed off down the street.

Having been relieved of the weight of her bags seemed to lighten her mood as well and she immediately seemed particularly buoyant and chatty. It was as if she had been in isolation and was suddenly allowed to interact with another person after a long, long time.

“This is funny, usually it’s the boy who carries the girls’ books home.”

I just smiled and nodded.

“These mecidiyeköy escort are a lot of books, they’ll probably keep you busy over the whole summer.”

“No, I’ll finish them over the weekend and go back to get some more next week.”

“Wow, I don’t think I read this many books all of the time I was in high school. You still in school?”

“I just graduated high school and will be heading off to college in the fall,” I said before telling her about my summer plans. She immediately started asking questions and seemed genuinely interested in the responses. Which surprised me. In my experience, no females had expressed any interest in my academic pursuits and her interest was so great that I wondered if she wasn’t somehow making fun of me.

Noticing my odd expression, she asked, “Is something wrong?”

“No, it’s just that girls aren’t usually interested in this stuff. They usually only seemed to notice the captain of the football team or someone like that.”

Her mood immediately darkened and, when I asked what was wrong, started to tell me her own life story with an openness that surprised me. It was as if she had stored something up for a long time and, having found a sympathetic ear, was finally unburdening herself.

It turned out that she had gone out with the captain of the high school football team. For a long time she was the envy of all of the girls, until, that is, she got pregnant in the eleventh grade and had to drop out of school. Immediately after the former football team captain graduated from high school, the two got married and, three months later, had a son. The son was now three years old and spending two weeks with his grandparents in another town. I quickly did the math and realized that even though I regarded her as an older woman, she was, at most only two or three years older than me.

At first, their life together had been good. People in town remembered his successful high school football career and treated them like a kind of royal couple. Because of his earlier fame, people for a long time were willing to overlook her husband’s faults. Unable to succeed in college, he went through a number of menial jobs until his employers’ patience with his lateness and tendency to drink in the afternoon ran out and he would be compelled to move onto the next low-paying job. Meanwhile, his uncertain income meant that his tabs at bars across the city went unpaid and he gradually became less and less welcome at each. Although he finally got a job in sanitation, money continued to be tight for the family. And since, he no longer followed the strenuous exercise regime required for football, he quickly gained an enormous amount of weight.

All of this had a negative impact on Janine. Frustrated with the fact that his glory days were over and with the general downward spiral of his life, he took it out on her. On this subject she was relatively close-mouthed:

“He … he, uh, be___, uh, isn’t always very nice to me or our son,” she said as she bit her lower lip.

Suddenly the youthful exuberance was gone and I regretted having opened that particular door, however inadvertent it had been.

The silence was broken by her saying, “We’re here,” pointing to a neglected three-family house covered in a faded and dented, light green aluminum siding. She unlocked the front door and led me up the stairs to the second floor where she stopped at a ragged hollow wood door that appeared to have been punched or kicked in in several places. The door opened immediately into a small kitchen. As I walked in, I quickly scanned the room and its meager furnishings. It reminded me of the set of the old “Honeymooners” television show. There was a small wooden table with the finish worn off in places surrounded by four mismatched wooden chairs. In the corner stood a cabinet whose drawers were missing half of their handles. The only color in the room was provided by a funeral parlor calendar taped to the refrigerator door. She watched me as I took a visual inventory of the room and, seeing the harsh reality of her life through my eyes, blushed.

The surroundings made me less sad, though, than did the fact that we were at the end of our brief interaction. I couldn’t help but think that she, too, was sad that our time together was nearing an end. She turned to me and said, “I’d make you some coffee, but, my husband is very …, I mean it probably wouldn’t be a good idea for you to be here when he gets home.”

I smiled and said it was okay, I didn’t really drink coffee and turned to leave.

“Wait, wait, let me give you something for your trouble.”

“No, that’s okay. It was no big thing, and anyway, I really enjoyed our conversation and our time together.”

She paused at my comment and said “No, really. I don’t know how I could have gotten home without your help. You were so sweet, and , god knows, there aren’t a whole lot of gentlemen in my life. Wait just a second.”

She searched with what was a somewhat frantic effort kağıthane escort to find some money to give me the completely unnecessary tip. She opened drawers, looked in a coffee can on a shelf but came up with nothing. Finally, she overturned her purse but all that came out were a number of folded up envelopes with the words “past due” on them in red letters and a single, lint-covered dime. She looked down at the dime and, looking completely defeated, started to quietly sob.

I, never having been in a situation remotely like this before, desperately tried to calm her and told her that it was okay, that I didn’t expect or need any money. But, of course, the money was only a small part of it. She was suddenly and unexpectedly being forced to look at her whole life and the picture was not a happy one.

Unable to comfort her with my words, I put my arms around her. She clung to me in a way that, for the second time that day, reminded me of a drowning person seeking assistance. To my surprise, rather than placating her, her sobs only became louder, seeming to come from deep inside her. I just held her and absent-mindedly stroked her back like you might an upset child until her crying gradually began to lessen.

As she slowly became composed, I was horrified to realize that my body was starting to react to her close proximity. I was a sensitive and caring young man, but I was still a young man. Holding an attractive woman had the predictable effect on me and so it was clear to me that she had to be aware of the proof of my excitement pressing against her stomach. I muttered an embarrassed apology and tried to pull away, but she assured me that everything was okay and continued to hold me.

Several seconds later, she pulled back and gazed directly into my eyes for what seemed like a long time. And the tears began to re-appear in her eyes but this time without the earlier sobbing. She gently put a hand on one cheek and softly kissed me on the other cheek. Pulling away, she looked into my eyes and then kissed me again, this time pressing her closed lips against mine. After pausing one last time, she kissed me again, this time opening her mouth and gently prying my lips open with her tongue and continuing the kiss for a long time. I began to slowly tremble with this wholly new experience.

Pulling away from me, she looked over my shoulder at a clock on the wall and appeared to do some kind of mental calculation. With tears hanging in her eyelashes like little jewels, she softly ran her arms down my sides and gently reached her hand between us to touch me. Undoing my belt, the snap of my jeans and the zipper, she pushed my pants down to my ankles and, sinking to her knees, took me into her mouth.

Under the circumstances, it was difficult to have a coherent thought, but it occurred to me in a flash that, until a few minutes before, I had never even kissed a girl and now this. I felt as if I had just been taught to ride a bicycle and was suddenly entered into the Tour de France.

I looked down and was treated to what I can honestly say was the most exciting and satisfying sight I had ever seen, an experience that was intensified by the fact that throughout the process, she was looking up at me with her giant, beautiful dark brown eyes as if checking to be sure that I was enjoying her act.

I was. Predictably, it was not long before I felt the unmistakable signs that I was about to come and looked down and informed her. Never taking her eyes off me, she appeared to smile and nodded yes, at which point I could feel myself shooting repeated spurts into her mouth until the pressure of her mouth and tongue seemed almost painful and I withdrew from her mouth.

She stood up and held me tightly until she became aware that, the wonder of youth being what it is, I remained as hard as I had been before. Looking again at the clock over my shoulder, she again appeared to do a quick mental calculation and, taking me by the hand, led me shuffling with my pants around my ankles into the bedroom nearby.

This room was as sparsely furnished as the kitchen. She led me to the bed and pushed me back onto the faded bedspread. She then reached down, pulled the faded dress over her head, quickly peeled her panties off and straddled me on the bed, wearing only the somewhat ragged little bra that she had left on. She reached down and guided me into her and I was again introduced to a sensation that was better than even my wildest dreams. Unlike in the kitchen where her primary concern had been with pleasing me, this was for her. She changed intensity or adjusted her position in a way designed to bring her pleasure, but it was all fine with me. After she had ridden me for a few minutes, I reached up to push up her bra so that I could see and feel her breasts and she initially pushed my hand away. But seeing the disappointment in my face, she relented and reached behind her to unhook her bra. She slipped it off and, at first, crossed her arms over her breasts until I gently pulled beşiktaş escort them to the side revealing a pair of small, very slightly sagging breasts.

I had never seen a naked woman before so all of my experience was based upon views I had sneaked in magazines. Janine’s breasts, to be honest were somewhat more National Geographic than Playboy, but they were the first that I had seen and touched and they belonged to a woman about whom I had very strong feelings and so, to me, they were perfect. Seeing how pleased I was by seeing her completely naked, Janine again threw herself into her movements. As she became more excited, her moans slowly began to turn into little sharp cries.

In addition to being inexperienced, I did not have the advantage that young people have now of being able to see explicit sex on the internet. I knew vaguely about the existence of a thing called the female orgasm but was wholly ignorant of any specifics. So I wasn’t sure about whether I was somehow hurting her and asked if she was okay. She looked down at me and, amused by my naivete, fixed me with her sweetest smile and said “I’m fine, baby, just fine.”

Looking back, I realize that of all of the new sensations I experienced that day, that affectionately murmured “baby” had the most profound effect. I felt as if her words went directly to my heart and I remember an overwhelming feeling of bliss as she came and I subsequently came inside her.

She immediately collapsed on me as if completely exhausted and I felt an amazing contentment. I could easily have spent the remainder of the afternoon gently holding her. But that was not to be. She suddenly remembered the time. Looking at the alarm clock next to the bed, she shrieked, leaped up and pulled me to my feet telling me that I had to hurry and leave.

The afternoon’s experience had left me limp, in every way, so I’m afraid that I was not as helpful as I might have been in getting myself dressed. I’m sure that I was a complete, disheveled mess as she pushed me to the front door. Just before opening the door, she stopped, rushed to the table and tore off a corner of one of the paper bags, hurriedly wrote on it and quickly tucked it into my shirt pocket:

“Here’s my number. Please call me. Just don’t call me after 3 or on the weekends, but call me. Please.”

With that she kissed me one last time and pushed me out the door.

I left just in time. No sooner had I closed her gate behind me and turned to walk up the street than I heard a loud racket coming from down the block. I looked up and saw an old Plymouth that looked like it was well into its second decade riding low with obviously worn shocks and belching noise and smoke from a faulty muffler rumbling up the street toward me. I knew instinctively that the dark purple car, which looked like it had been painted by hand with a brush, was driven by none other than Janine’s husband.

He confirmed this intuition when he pulled up in front of the house that I had just vacated seconds before. He was an enormous man, six foot three and three hundred and fifty pounds. Although he was fat, it was also obvious that there were powerful muscles beneath the fat.

I sped up, relieved that I had so narrowly escaped being discovered in the apartment. My rush to put distance between myself and the apartment ended though when I thought back to the situation I had left behind. When I left, just minutes before, Janine was naked with the smell of our lovemaking still evident in the air.

Realizing the danger she was potentially in, I circled back. I had no clear plan for what I would do if there were a problem. In those pre-cellphone days, I could not have easily called the police. Given the obvious difference in our size, the most I could expect to do was to delay him long enough while he took the necessary few seconds to beat me to death so that she could escape.

And, because I was eighteen and grateful and believed I was in love, I was completely ready to make that sacrifice if need be. But, when I arrived, there was no need. All was quiet in the house, she had evidently managed to get dressed in time and sanitation workers probably are not gifted with a sensitive sense of smell so any trace of our activity would have been unnoticed by him.

As I turned to walk away, I saw the curtain in the front window pulled aside and saw Janine looking out. A shocked look crossed her face but then, I’m convinced, she realized exactly why I was there and, seeing how strongly I felt, the broadest and warmest smile that I had seen that day crossed her face. She then quickly blew me a kiss, mimed speaking on a telephone and waved me away.

As I walked the two miles to my home, I was awash in a flood of emotions for which nothing in my life had prepared me. After not having even had a girlfriend, in the space of a little over an hour, I had met a beautiful woman and slept with her. In my inexperience, this seemed to me to be love and, as I walked, I imagined going to any length to be with her again. I convinced myself that I didn’t need to go to college. I could find a job and take Janine and her son away from their sordid lives to live a happy and fulfilling life with me. I was completely afflicted with the insanity which infects idealistic and romantic young men.

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